Episode 167- Steve Bramfitt and Disco Dancing with risk

Steve Bramfitt was a rookie in the 2021 Red Bull X-Alps (GBR1) this year and had a phenomenal race, and like everyone this year- experienced plenty of harrowing and wonderful moments. In this episode we talk about his physical and mental preparation, dealing with the unknowns going into such a huge endeavor, how he assembled his team, some of the crazier (and hysterical) moments in the race, his scary accident in the UAE Hike and Fly championships and his rather nasty accident on the last full day of the X-Alps.

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Episode 163- Johanna Hamne and Flying in the Land of 1,000 Lakes

World Cup Competition pilot Johanna Hamne had a very big year. She had a daughter, and when she was 8 months pregnant she broke the Nordic FAI record. That’s not a mistype. She was 8 MONTHS pregnant when she flew the biggest triangle in the Nordic countries! You will love this story. But that’s just the start. Johanna is a regular on the World Cup circuit and brings an always-smiling face to our sport. We delve into how risk tolerance changes (or doesn’t) after you have a baby, competing after you’ve had a child, balancing flying with your partner (who also flies), how to process mistakes, flying flatlands and flying in a lot of wind, training and competing in Acro, jumping out of helicopters, getting currency, balancing life and flying, and a lot more.

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Episode 161- Peter Zaccagnino and Adventure, Aviation, and taking risk

Peter Zaccagnino is an aviation Hall of Fame pilot; 4 X Air Racing Gold Champion; has flown over 23,000 hours in more than 270 aircraft, flight tested more than 685 and even built three of his own. Peter’s company, High Performance Aircraft Group manages several corporate jets, provides his clients with custom-tailored, high-intensity world tours, and performs flight test services for several manufacturers, including the U.S. and foreign militaries. He’s also the film producer of multiple Discovery Channel productions and starred in a lead role in the “Dangerous Flights” series.

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Episode 152- Torsten Siegel and Playing the Ultimate Game

Veteran Gin test pilot, designer, European champion, and multiple-time German team member Torsten Siegel has been racing paragliders for nearly 30 years. He designed for UP Paragliders and then Swing before moving to Gin over a decade ago and has left an indelible mark on the sport since the early 90’s. I spoke with Torsten immediately after this years Superfinal in Disentis, Switzerland to get his thoughts on the first superfinal that’s been held in the mountains and to get his thoughts on all things racing- the risk, the tactics, the equipment and how to be consistent in the ultimate game- racing fabric and string in the sky.

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Episode 146- Maxime Pinot and turning up the Volume

In this episode we discuss how Maxime approaches training (physical and mental), his thoughts on just making better decisions instead of doing SIV for pilots who don’t have the money or time, how to manage your emotions, how to thermal and glide better, dealing with the “mental pain” that sometimes comes with flying, finding the opportunities from mistakes, the importance of visualization, and we look back at a couple key moves that made all the difference for Chrigel in the 2019 race.

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Episode 119- Yael Margelisch and building confidence

Yael Margelisch began flying ten years ago at the age of 19. She’s an Ozone and Swiss national team pilot, has been on the podium ten times on the world cup, is the first woman to fly over 500 km and owns the current female distance world record of 531 km as well as the current women’s FAI record (263 km) and is gunning hard for a 2021 Red Bull X-Alps campaign (she supported Michael Witschi in 2015).

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Episode 118- Charles Cazaux and Focus

Charles Cazeaux began flying when he was 15 years old. Shortly after that he became the first person to enter the French juniors program that was created to build exceptional pilots who would represent the country on the world stage. Needless to say the program worked very well indeed for Charles! He’s been on the French team every year since 1998, he won the Superfinal in 2009, won the world championships in 2011, holds multiple world records and instructs SIV and cross country with Seiko Fukuoka for the Airlinks Academy.

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The Flying Gear Post

As 2019 comes to a close I’m trying to wrap up some loose ends. One of them is to fulfill a request from many of our podcast listeners to review and talk about the flying gear I use and why.

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Episode 94- Patrick Von Kanel and the greatest Game on Earth

Patrick Von Kanel is only 25 years old but in a few days he’ll be one of the athletes to really watch in the Red Bull X-Alps. His mentors include Michael and Chrigel Maurer, he’s a test pilot for Advance, he’s big, he’s strong, he’s of course Swiss (no non-Swiss pilot has ever won the X-Alps), he’s solid in acro and he came in second in his last two hike and fly races- to the Eagle himself, Chrigel Maurer.

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